CM hails Times Group for bringing TOISA to UP
LUCKNOW: Hailing the Times Group for bringing The Times of India Sports Awards (TOISA) to Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday said that sports culture and performance of sportspersons in the state have undergone a major transformation in the past 10 years.
“I just returned from Varanasi but when I came to know about TOISA where prominent sports persons are being honoured, I immediately agreed to come here.People associated with sports are attending this event being organised in the state’s capital and, directly or indirectly, I would be standing in their welcome,” the CM said.

‘Earlier the population of UP was more, medals were less. Now it is the other way round’: CM Adityanath at TOISA

Addressing the event as the chief guest, Yogi highlighted the difference in sports culture in UP and performances over the past 10 years and said that in the Asian Games, players from Uttar Pradesh – which has 16% of the country’s population – won 25% of the medals for India. “Earlier, the population was high, but medals were less. Now, it is the other way round,” he said.
Crediting Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the change in sports culture in the country, the CM said that it was under his guidance that the Khelo India campaign began.
‘Under new sports policy, UP govt is opening a playground in every village’
Sansad Khel Pratiyogita are held in all parliamentary constituencies and Khelo India centres have been established in all the districts. A new sports culture has grown in the state and to bring it to the ground, the state govt has created a conducive environment. Sport is no longer a time pass but an opportunity to showcase one’s skill and the strength of the state and the country before the world. The results of the programmes launched to promote sports are before everyone,” he added.
Enumerating the steps taken by the state govt to support the Centre’s initiatives, the CM said that a stadium was being built in the village of cricketer Mohd Shami and his father was happier than Shami himself. “Sportspersons play for the country and society and are an inspiration to the youth. When Parul Chaudhary wins a gold medal in Asian Games and speaks about Uttar Pradesh, she inspires young sportspersons,” Yogi said.
“While sportspersons are performing for the country, it is essential to ask what the govt can do for them,” he said.
“While wondering how to incorporate Olympic winner Lalit Upadhyay in the govt, the UP Sports Policy was born. Through the new policy we were able to include our players in the govt. In the recent past, we appointed 10 medal winners as gazetted officers and appointed 500 others to various posts,” the CM said.
Yogi said that under the new policy, UP govt was opening a playground in every village, open gyms and mini-stadia in every development block, and stadia in all districts.
“We are also strengthening sports hotels. In the latest budget, we have made the provision for Khelo India centres in all development centres where sportspersons will be appointed as coaches so that society can get advantage of their experience and skill,” he said. “UP’s first sports university is being set up in Meerut and will be named after hockey legend Major Dhyanchand. Meerut has also been selected to promote its traditional sporting goods under the ‘one district, one product’ (ODOP) scheme.
“I assure you that for any programme associated with sports, UP govt will do everything possible. We will further hone the skills of our youth,” he said.

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